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Why Do Rappers Love Scarface? – The Death of Black Cinema

I dunno if it’s been said before but I’ma go ahead and say it here: Hip hop’s fascination with the movie Scarface is weird. No disrespect to the big homie Scarface, of course, but just in general the way artists treat that movie as gospel has always kinda weirded me out.

Personally, I like the elementary school play version way better than the OG movie. It’s not a bad movie at all but it’s just…

Well, it’s a tad overrated.

I mean, people do the same thing with the Godfather and I’d say that’s a bit more justified ’cause that shit is DOPE as fuck. Hell, I’d put Goodfellas over Scarface.

Okay, I get why people idolize these mobster films, it’s like grown up cops-n-robbers. Root for the bad guy even. But you can’t front, that shit is still kinda weird.

But the idolization of Tony Montana has spawned some great moments in Black cinema. Just look at Master P’s tour de force Bout It Bout It or Cam’s Killa Season. The movies that rappers put out on that straight to DVD tip are usually pretty awesome in the way that only bad cinema can be. Usually when it hits theaters and movie houses are behind it then it feels a bit like mockery.

Pairing film and music is just logical. It’s why films have scores and soundtracks. Music is a mood-altering drug that enhances any moment you are in. That’s why slow jams set the mood for fuckin’ just as fast as Uncle Murda probably sets the tone for, well… murder.

Music is as much of an escape for the artist as it is for the listener, even more so actually. It’s the mental equivalent to playing dress-up, where men can give themselves nicknames and pretend they have shot as many people as they like followed by gratuitous sex with model chicks that they don’t have a shot in hell of getting busy with.

Just look at Nas’ pastel suited homage to Casino, Biggie’s suicidal-ly cinematic first effort, or Wu Tang’s lifelong tribute to kung fu flicks.

Oh, and before I go, I just wanna say that the Biggie movie Notorious wasn’t good at all until it hit the end where they showed the actual footage of the funeral parade for him. For cats that wasn’t in NYC and don’t know Brooklyn, that shit was amazing to see. I’d have been happier had they just shot the film documentary style and used that footage as the backbone.

What y’all thinking?

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